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Home > Tips & Techniques > River Salmon > Spoon Jigging

Spoon Jigging for Salmon
3 Ounce Spoon

Spoon jigging refers to jigging a one to four ounce lead or metal spoon up and down.  You will see a lot of people doing it incorrectly.  You will see people jerking the spoon up as hard as they can, and then they drop the rod tip down to the water leaving the line to go slack.  This often will lead to snagging fish in the belly, which has given jiggers a bad reputation as snaggers.

When done correctly jigging snags relatively few fish, and can be a very effective way of catching big numbers of fish.

I'm by no means an expert at jigging.  The notes on this page were taken from seminars given by Allen Fong and Don Paganelli at Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento, CA.  Hopefully they will help you to catch a few fish and avoid being labeled as a snagger!

  • Use the electric motor to keep your spoons in the strike zone which is 15-25' deep
  • Follow break lines along the bottom of the river
  • 1 3 oz jigs - keep the spoon vertical at all times
  • 15 lb test main line
  • 30 lb test monofilament leader 2-3 long keeps the spoon vertical
  • Ultimate legend minnow brand has a rattle
  • Hopkins spoons, Gibbs Minnows, Megabait Jigs
  • Pop up 1-2 feet, pause, and follow down slowly
  • Feel for a tick on the way down - this is a hit
  • Keep it near the bottom at all times
  • Switch out the treble barbed hooks for 2/O to 4/O Gammakatsu Siwash single hooks
  • Paint your spoons with Rustoleum Hunter's Green, Black or White
  • Use dark spoons in dark, deep or muddy water, white in clear or shallow water
  • Black is a good color for salmon